How to Stand Out + Get Noticed
“I feel like no one is even hearing or seeing me! This market is too crowded for me.”
When I first started Hellohappen, it didn’t take me long to realize I had entered a VERY crowded market. I started feeling hopeless, like I was never going to be able to stand out enough to get great clients or make this new business work.
Over time, I carved out my own space in the market and started being KNOWN for something. I got messages from people telling me my blog posts and podcast were making a real difference for them… and I realized gradually that people were depending on me – in at least some small way – to inspire and lead them.
So I want to share what worked for me, how I started standing out and getting noticed and recognized as DIFFERENT from all the other brand coaches and marketing experts out there.
This is for you if:
You want to start standing out from the crowd and getting the ATTENTION of your dream clients.
You want to make a real IMPACT in the world and influence the conversation.
You want to and be KNOWN for something that matters and acknowledged as a thought leader, not just a follower.
So here’s how I started standing out and getting noticed!
I got clear about my passion and my purpose.
It’s not easy to find some deeper underlying purpose to why you want to do what you love. If you’re a wedding photographer, or a jewelry designer, or a life coach, you probably do that thing because you enjoy it! You may also want to achieve some personal goals, like buying a home, supporting your family, or living an independent lifestyle. You undoubtedly have some financial goals too, like saving for retirement or earning a six-figure income.
But to get the attention of your dream clients, you need a reason that goes beyond just “I enjoy it” or “I never want to go back to a 9-5 again.” Apple wouldn’t be Apple if its stated brand purpose was to make a billion dollars, or to pay its employees enough to buy expensive homes and send their kids to great colleges. Marie Forleo wouldn’t be Marie Forleo if her stated passion and purpose was to be the next Oprah.
You need to dig deep and find a purpose that is ABOUT your dream client, or the world outside you – not just you, and your immediate family. You need a purpose that inspires your dream client and makes it clear why it’s GREAT news to her that you’re in the world, doing this work.
I started using my voice before I was ready.
Next, I started speaking up and sharing my opinions and my perspectives BEFORE it was comfortable. Before I felt ready. Before I thought anyone was listening. I didn’t have anything unique to say, but I said what I did have to say, and that was enough to get started.
Along the way, I figured out what messages I truly wanted to share and spread, and what I was willing to stand up and fight for. I figured out what my dream clients needed to hear, and what I needed to hear, and I said it with confidence.
I started being unapologetically me.
The one thing no one else can do or be is YOU. I started identifying the things I was scared people wouldn’t like about me, and sharing them on purpose. I was my awkward, clumsy, shy, sensitive self. I stopped worrying people would think I wasn’t tough enough, or rich enough, or cool enough… because ultimately, my dream clients didn’t want that persona anyway. They wanted me. They wanted real.
Be unapologetically you, and the right people will notice. They’ll hear your voice, and come knocking on your door.
I looked for ways to disrupt patterns.
It’s so easy when you’re just starting out, to look around at what everyone else is doing and try to do it the same way. But ultimately you need to find what works for you, what delights your dream clients, and what makes it clear that you aren’t just a copycat!
You can disrupt patterns through your visuals, your voice, the way you do things, your customer onboarding and experience, and all the other ways you show up for your audience. If everyone in your industry uses succulent graphics in their branding, what can use that’s different and unique? If everyone in your industry shoots the same flatlay photos, what can you add to make them your own?
That said, it’s better to copy other people than to do nothing!
I’m not talking about plagiarism – I’m talking about systems. Processes. If everyone in your industry sends a PDF to welcome in new clients, and you can’t think of a better or different way to do it, then get to work on that PDF, girl!
Over time, you’ll find unique ways to do things that disrupt the status quo and give your dream clients a truly one-of-a-kind experience. But until then, just take action even if it’s not the most original thing in the world.
I made my dream client my main focus.
Creating a great experience for your dream clients isn’t just about you – it’s mainly about THEM. When you market to a wide, diverse audience – i.e., everyone – you’re telling your dream client that they’re part of the masses. That they’re just a number to you.
But when you deliver an experience that one special kind of person will LOVE, it makes that person feel special. It makes them feel unique! Like they’re the only one for you, and vice versa. And if ONE person feels that way, you know that a hundred other people do too.
Making your dream client feel SPECIAL and unique is essential to getting noticed. It’s like the difference between walking past someone on a soapbox, shouting at the crowd… and hearing that person describe your exact situation with startling accuracy.
I focused on building trust and rapport.
Telling people what you do is the easy part. So many people do it! And your customer is probably overrun with people trying to sell them stuff.
The hard part is having the long-term thinking to focus on building trust and rapport, and showing your dream clients they can trust you to help them get where they need to go.
Client relationships are like any other relationship. You invest time and energy into each other for days, weeks, or months before asking each other to take the next step. You don’t walk up to someone you just met and ask them to marry you! You give yourself and each other the chance to get to know each other, build trust, and build a genuine connection.
In the same way, your dream client may watch you for weeks or months before buying anything from you! You show that you’ve already gotten to know her – by speaking to her situation and needs. Now she’s getting to know you, know how you do things, know what you believe.
So you create great content, show up consistently, share your message, and be yourself! All those things add up to a client who trusts you and wants to work with you.
There you have it! Those are the basic rules for selling with heart:
Get clear about your passion + purpose.
Use your voice before you’re ready.
Be unapologetically you.
Look for ways to disrupt patterns.
Focus on your dream client.
Focus on building trust + rapport with her.
BOTH of the resources below will help you get started finding what YOU are here to stand for and do in the world, and how you can set yourself apart from the crowd and attract those dream clients.
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Hey! I’m Ashley.
I’m all about growing your mission-driven business with heart and intention! If you need help connecting authentically with your dream clients, you’re in the right place!